My thoughts about abortion (short) and why your choice is not my decision (longer)

Raised in the christian home I was, I grew up a “one-issue” voter. I voted for people then that I would never vote for now all because they claimed to be “pro-life.” My philosophy was I would never have an abortion because I believed that no matter what, god would have a plan and everything would be ok. I went through all of my childbearing years with a strong no-abortion-for-me policy. That was right for me. The end.

I get to make decisions for myself about my own body. I want all women to have that same freedom. Just because I got pregnant unexpectedly and chose to keep the baby simply does not mean that should be the only option for every other woman. I hear anti-choice people claiming that “they” are using abortion as birth control. As in, women just have sex with whomever whenever and if a pregnancy occurs, welp just get an abortion, easy-peasy.

I used to resist using the term anti-choice because I liked the *idea* of pro-life, that is, being *pro* about *life.* Unfortunately, while there are certainly people doing good work to help the underprivileged and marginalized in our society, there are also people who identify as pro-life (and who have never experienced poverty) who are decidedly anti-life when it comes to providing assistance for the poor and those in systemic generational poverty. See https://familyandcommunityimpact.org/why-dont-poor-people-just-work-harder-poverty-stress-and-getting-stuck-in-reverse/ I have come to agree that anti-choice is a better description.

I hear pro-choice people who say there should be no limits whatsoever to when an abortion is done. (or maybe that’s anti-choice people characterizing what they imagine pro-choice beliefs are).

I hear anti-choice people say that pro-choice people would be just fine with killing a born baby because they are just that heartless and selfish.

I hear anti-choice people say let’s just all give money to crisis pregnancy centers to they can make the “beautiful choice” to give life.

We probably all know people who have either adopted or been adopted.

I love that my friend, S, has adopted two children and given them a wonderful life. I have no idea if there have been any challenges related to the adoption. Social media indicates that things are mostly good in their family.

I love that my friend, R, adopted two orphans and did her damnedest to give them a wonderful life. The two girls grew up to be teenagers who accused their adoptive father of sexual abuse, of which he was cleared after a long and painful battle, and still has to be on the sexual offender list. This family has endured years of pain from their choice to adopt.

I love that my friend, T, adopted her nephew who was abandoned by his mother, and how much she loved that boy and how heartbreaking it was when he was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. My friend endured all manner of pain at the hands of this much-loved child.

Adoption can be a wonderful thing, and it can be screamingly painful for all involved. Adoption is not a panacea. You can read more about that: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/oct/31/adoption-why-system-ruining-lives

If you want to adopt a baby or place a baby for adoption, that is your choice to make. If a woman does not want to have the baby she is pregnant with, as hard as it might be to accept, that is her choice to make. Women get pregnant all the time with babies they are ill-equipped to care for. Sometimes they already have children they cannot adequately provide for. Sometimes they have health conditions that make pregnancy a high risk to endure. Sometimes they might just say, “I do not want to have a baby.”

I hear anti-choice people say the time to choose is before you get pregnant. This is one of the most simplistic things I have ever heard. This statement assumes all sorts of things:

  • the woman is in full control of her sexual activity (i.e., there is only consensual sex to which a woman is fully agreeable to):
  • a woman knows and understands her reproductive monthly cycle and can always decide whether this act of intercourse might result in pregnancy:
  • women always have access to birth control and have no problems using it, nor do pregnancies ever occur while a woman is on birth control
  • women and girls are never subject to unwanted sex from relatives (incest) or strangers/friends (rape):
  • there is always “a [good] reason” that a pregnancy occurs and therefore a woman should always go through with the pregnancy.

Look, none of the issues we are facing are black and white. As much as I want women to be able to choose whether or not to give birth, there are aspects of the process that involve choice and some that do not. The decision of what a woman can do with her body in terms of pregnancy is best left up to the woman herself and is definitely the main aspect that involves choice. Doesn’t matter what I or you or Aunt Jennifer thinks about abortion. What matters is what the individual woman decides to do with her own body.

No one individual can turn the tide of injustice we see in our “justice” system, our prison system, the roadblocks set up for the poor to make their way out of poverty, the oppression of women, the abandonment of children, and the income gap between the haves and the have-nots. One individual can do what they can to embody “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” (https://www.amnesty.org/en/)

5 thoughts on “My thoughts about abortion (short) and why your choice is not my decision (longer)

  1. Thank you for this share that is absent of finger pointing, judgement and inclusive of multiple perspectives and grace. I come away nourished by this nuanced look at a complex issue.

    Like

  2. A woman should be able to do what she wants with HER OWN body. It’s the other body involved that causes me to vote the way I do. I can agree with almost everything else. I will never believe that any child would be better off dead. As a victim of abuse I know that it is better that my mom had me rather than killed me…even as challenging as life has been at times. I was an unexpected addition at a tough time in my mom’s life.
    I do appreciate your thoughts.

    Like

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